Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island is a beautiful island next to Townsville in Queensland, Australia.
You need to take a ferry in order to visit „Maggie“ and they have busses on the island which means you can get from A to B quite easily.
The island’s actual name is Yunbenun but when James Cook explored Australia, his compass didn’t work properly and that’s why he called it „Magnetic Island“, or „Maggie“. The reason we wanted to go to Magnetic Island is, apart from the beautiful national park, the Bungalow Bay Koala Village.

This is a Koala Sanctuary where you can meet Koalas and other animals like big lizards, crocs and even snakes and wombats. I am still not sure if I really like the idea of carrying a Koala or a snake (animal rights -wise) but they follow a set of regulations in order to protect the animals. All in all, it was a great experience and Koalas really smell like eucalyptus!!!

Maggie also has many beautiful beaches and snorkeling routes. Make sure to feed the Rock Wallabies in the evening near Geoffrey Bay. You can get appropriate Wallaby food at your hostel and spend your evening with these cute creatures!

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Thanks for reading, have a great week!

xx, Sophie

Traveller’s Autobarn Australia, our experience

There are two big car rental companies in Australia where travellers under the age of 21 are allowed to rent cars: Juicy and Traveller’s Autobarn.
Since we wanted to rent a car and drive from Brisbane to Sydney, we asked our travel company ‚Peter Pan’s Travel‘ for help and decided to rent a Ford Falcon Station Wagon.
The car came with a tent, a stove (which didn’t work but we bought a new one and got the money back), cooking supplies and two chairs.
Well, our trip was cool but there are some reasons why I won’t go with Traveller’s Autobarn again.

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The staff from Traveller’s Autobarn in Brisbane was quite friendly and the pick-up was totally fine. We spent the first day driving from Brisbane to Beenleigh and made our way to Gold Coast and Lamington National Park the next days.
So, on our last day in Lamington we realised our car battery was dead.
Yes, we did pay attention not to use the lights of the car, the radio or whatsoever.
Problem was, that there was no phone signal, only for Telstra Sim Cards. At that time we had vodafone data sim cards, but fortunately I kept my old Telstra sim and consequently was able to call the road assistance. It took them two hours to get to the park (thirty kilometers uphill) and the guy jump started our car and told us that the battery only had half the power it was supposed to have. However, what he said was something like ‚give it a good ride and you should be fine the next two weeks‘. We were slightly annoyed since we were back on the road at five in the evening, although we had planned to drive to Byron Bay that day. Instead, we were forced to spend the night on a creepy highway campground/parking space.

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Our Falcon broke down a second time in Byron Bay and some Australian guys gave us a jump start. In order to be able to continue our road trip the next day and drive to Port Maquarie, we drove around for twenty minutes. Obviously our plan didn’t work out and we called Road Assistance again next morning. They jump started our car AGAIN and told us to go to the next garage in Byron Bay. Surprise surprise, they told us it wasn’t the battery but the alternator and we had to wait three hours until they had replaced it. Consequently, we lost another day.
The people from the garage also talked to Traveller’s Autobarn and fortunately they paid for the repair.

 

 

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You think everything was alright then? It wasn’t. The fourth time our car broke down was in Crowdy Bay National Park and we had to ask again for a jump start on our campground. This time we were so annoyed and contacted Traveller’s Autobarn.
A staff member told us that we would get a refund for the two days we had to rely on Road Assistance and said we would get a refund if we returned our car two days earlier.

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Green Mountains Camping Area was the best campground we had!

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At that time, we were totally exhausted and annoyed. The car had ruined our trip and we were scared our car might break down again. It had already forced us to sleep at gloomy motorway rest areas and we just wanted to get rid of this car and finally arrive in Sydney. Since the guy told us that we could return our car earlier, we decided to go for it quitted the trip.

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Again- surprise! We got into trouble with the Traveller’s Autobarn garage in Sydney since they didn’t want to give us the full refund of four days and told us that there was nothing wrong with the car. They said they had checked it and everything was alright. If we knew that they wouldn’t give us the refund, we would have stayed in Newcastle.
However, we returned the car earlier and had to pay another two nights in our hostel.
Too bad.

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Reading ‚Gone Girl‘

To summarise, they gave us a car that didn’t work properly, they gave us false information and the staff in Sydney was rather arrogant than friendly.
Even though we spend a lot of time worrying and waiting, our road trip was still very cool but I know for sure, that I will NEVER EVER rent a car at Traveller’s Autobarn again.
I will probably publish another blogpost where I will be talking about traffic, roads, gas and the positive aspects of our road trip the next few weeks.

I hope some of you found this helpful. If some of you have ever rented a car at this company, please tell me about your experience :)!

xx, Sophie

Sendepause, Jubiläum und fünf Tage in Sydney

Guten Morgen Ihr Lieben,

ich bin heute Morgen um fünf Uhr aufgestanden, einfach so weil Morgenstund‘ hat ja Gold im Mund. Oder auch „Der frühe Vogel fängt den Wurm“… meine ich mal gehört zu haben. Das Projekt, um fünf Uhr morgens aufzustehen, gehört zu meinem „Changing my Life“ Projekt, welches ich gerade gestern gestartet habe.
Etwas ironisch oder? Ich glaube sein Leben verändern ist heutzutage ein Trend, genau so wie jeden Tag grüne Smoothies zu trinken, Instagram zu seinem Tagebuch zu machen und Reisen zum Inhalt seines Lebens.
No offense, ich finde mich ja selbst darin wieder. Wie auch immer, ich werde in Zukunft sicherlich über diese -um fünf Uhr morgens aufstehen- Tortur schreiben und darüber, wie sich jetzt alles in meinem Leben zum positiven wendet (okay das hört sich gerade sehr sehr deprimierend an, vielleicht eher „noch mehr zum positiven“…).

Spaß bei Seite. Ich bin nun seit fast zehn Wochen wieder Zuhause, das ist fast schon die Hälfte der Zeit die ich weg war – schon ziemlich traurig.
Seitdem habe ich mir einen Job gesucht, wieder angefangen zu Tanzen, meine Ballett Stange repariert und mir 120cm breite Spiegel ins Zimmer gehängt, acht Bücher gelesen und das Reisen sehr vermisst. Auf der anderen Seite habe ich bemerkt, wie sehr ich mein „Zuhause“ zu schätzen gelernt habe und wie wichtig es für mich geworden ist, einen place to be zu haben.

Arbeiten ist anstrengender Reisen und meiner Meinung nach auch anstrengender als Schule, was vielleicht auch einfach daran liegt, dass ich nicht für die Gastronomie gemacht bin. Sophie arbeitet jetzt nämlich im Bio Gewerbe und das nicht wenige Stunden die Woche.
Daher fehlte es mir die letzten Tage, oder auch Wochen, oft an Kraft und Motivation mich hinzusetzen und etwas zu schreiben.
Die Motivation und die Ideen kommen zwar wieder, aber wie einige vielleicht beim Lesen bemerkt haben, schreibe ich gerade auf Deutsch und nicht wie sonst, auf Englisch.
Immerhin möchte ich auch nicht meinen Blog gerade nachdem er ein Jahr alt geworden ist (jaa, am 28. März hatte Aperture & Wanderlust Geburtstag) schon wieder hängen lassen.
Außerdem erstaunt es mich immer wieder, dass es tatsächlich so viele liebe Menschen im Internet gibt, die mein Gedanken- und Reisewirrwarr doch tatsächlich lesen mögen. Für manche mag es natürlich nicht viel sein, aber ich bin sehr glücklich und dankbar für die positive Resonanz die mich im letzten Jahr erreicht hat.

Passend zum Thema beendete Reise, hier ein paar Fotos aus Sydney, unsem letzter Stopp in Australien. Sydney hat mir wirklich sehr gut gefallen, unser Hostel war super schön, günstig- und es gab sogar Frühstück.
Zwar gab es verschiedene Zimmer Kategorien und nachdem wir in zwei schönen Zimmern geschlafen haben, landeten wir in einem acht-Bett Zimmer.
In jenem wachte ich eines Morgens auf und musste eine platt gelegene Kakerlake auf meiner Matratze finden. Doch Gott sei Dank war ich nach fast fünf Monaten relativ abgehärtet was sowas angeht und bekam keinen Schreianfall oder ähnliches.
Außerdem war es ja nicht ich, die von einem Riesen im Schlaf zerquetscht wurde…trotzdem nicht sehr appetitlich.

Sydney an sich ist eine sehr schöne und aktive Stadt, wir konnten viele Ziele zu Fuß erreichen, oder auch mit Bus und Bahn. Infrastrukturell ist Sydney meiner Meinung nach auch sehr gut ausgerüstet und man kommt schnell von A nach B.
An sich reichen auch drei Tage in der Hafenstadt, denke ich, durchaus aus.
Immerhin gibt es auch nicht unendlich viel zu sehen.
Ein Muss für mich als Ballettliebhaberin war natürlich das Amateur Tanz Foto vor dem Opera House!

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Danke fürs Lesen und HAVE A GOOD WEEK ♥️!

Sophie

Cairns, Home of two World Heritages

I suppose everyone who has ever considered visiting Australia, knows this small city in the very north of the country. What makes Cairns very special is that you have access to two World Heritages. First, the Great Barrier Reef and second, Daintree rainforest, which is probably one of the oldest rainforests in the world.
Additionally, Cairns has cool restaurants, a stunning harbour where all the huge and luxurious vessels begin their diving tours and entertaining tourist attractions.

Of course we did a Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling tour with an eco-friendly company, called Passions Of Paradise. We decided to go with this company, since they care for the reef, use a catamaran in order to be able to sail back instead of using the engine and they teach you about marine biology, sustainability and the reef itself.

Another highly recommended spot in Cairns is the salt water lagoon, a big ocean water swimming pool (with reduced salt percentage). There are many cities on the east coast of Australia who offer their tourists a salt water lagoon experience, but the one in Cairns is my personal favourite.

We also went to the Cairns botanical gardens and really enjoyed the walk through a small rainforest ca. eight kilometers from the city. You can take a bus but we took an Uber and paid 10$ each in total. Definitely give it a try, but please do not forget to put on mosquito repellent!

Everyone who visited Cairns highly recommended the „Cape Tribulation“ Tour, a rainforest/village/beach tour. You can either do a day trip, or even go for a camping experience. Well, unfortunately we missed that and I regret it almost every day. 😄
Cape Tribulation is the name of a village in the Daintree Rainforest and people told me that you explore the forest and also go to the beach the same day. Isn’t that amazing?
Cape Tribulation is definitely on my bucket list for my next trip!!

However, we had a great time in Cairns and I loved the city and especially the Great Barrier Reef! I still have a lot of GoPro footage to edit, but I promise I will share my Reef videos with you sometime this year.

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Palm trees everywhere!

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The salt water lagoon

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Thanks for reading, I hope you have a great week!

xx, Sophie

 

PS: We really enjoyed our stay in the Njoy! Hostel, they even have a free airport pick up, the bathrooms are clean, they have a swimming pool, a very good kitchen and the people are really friendly and will love to help you chose the right tours!

 

Two Days In Happy Hippie Byron Bay

Byron Bay is a city in New South Wales, Australia. Even though it officially has only around 5000 inhabitants, there are so many people traveling to this little Paradise.
Today I will tell you why!

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View from the viewpoint
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View from the viewpoint

We arrived around eleven in the morning and were desperately looking for an affordable campground. To be honest, Byron Bay is not inexpensive, which is why we had to search for cheaper options, instead of paying 60$ for one night. Our first try was the so called „Arts Factory Lodge„, a budget accommodation with a hippie campground for tents in collaboration with Nomads Hostel. Unfortunately, they have a waiting list for the campground and in order to get on the list, you have to stay at least one night in the hostel. We would have loved to stay there, but we neither had the time, nor the money.

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Anyway, we kept looking and eventually went to the „Belongil Fields“ campground and paid 80$ for two people for two nights on the unpowered site – still expensive in comparison to the camping fees in Australia’s national parks.
Yet we were very happy we decided to stay, since we met some cool Australian guys who took us to the city and spent the two days with us.

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the beach
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Surfboard hire for 18$ for 0,5 days

On our first day we went to the city and had a Salted Caramel Milkshake at a bar next to the vodaphone shop at Johnson St (sorry I forgot the name) – it was the best milkshake I have ever had! I would have preferred a plant based one to be honest, since I normally do not really like the taste of milk, though this one was just amazing!
Later we drove to the Beach next to the view point and spent our afternoon jumping into the waves and getting sunburned. For lunch we returned to the campground and Lina and I did (not) enjoy our canned beans based salad. Since we were running a bit out of money, we bought a lot of canned foods and beans and soups of all kinds. It was not as delicious as expected… Ironically, we spent a lot of money on food in Byron Bay 😀
We went back to the city around eight and hung out at the beach, watching the stars.

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The next day we planned to go Surfing. I was so excited since it has been three months since I had surfed in Bali. Well, it was better than expected! I got lots of waves, even green ones! I was really happy, even though we rented a 7.6 softboard which is HUGE, since the waves are quite small and weak in comparison to Bali. I realized that I simply love surfing. I love to paddle as hard as I can in order to catch the wave, to jump up and balance in order to ride the wave as long as possible. I will miss surfing a lot!

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In the evening we decided to go to the „Cape Byron Light“ Lighthouse which I have already mentioned in my last Byron Bay post. During sunset the lighthouse area is quite crowded, however I did my best to get some nice shots of this pretty building. We also did the lighthouse circuit/walk/whatever and went to the easternmost point of Australia, it was really beautiful.

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Byron Bay at night

Anyway, we had dinner at Guzman&Gomez, a Mexican fast food restaurant and had burritos with a lot of Guacamole (I love everything with avocados in it). Additionally Lina and I had the best spiced french fries in our entire life!
On top of that, we went to an ice cream place called Baskin&Robbins“ and I got peanut butter and chocolate ice cream which was freaking delicious, probably the best ice cream I had during my travels.
I ended these exciting two days in hippie paradise watching the stars, I had a good time and Byron Bay is probably one of my favourite places in Australia!

Make sure you will check out Byron if you are planning a trip to beautiful Down Under!